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Gray Academy Receives Grant of $50,000 from Jewish Foundation To Re-Imagine Hebrew Curriculum

by Rhonda Spivak, October 25, 2022


Gray Academy of Jewish Education recently received a $50,000 grant from the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba for a project to “re-imagine” its Hebrew curriculum. Gray Academy has been using several programs up until now including the TalAm Hebrew program and Bishvial HaIvrit programs. But as Lori Binder, Head of School of Gray Academy says, the school “will now embark on a project that will move Gray Academy's Hebrew program forward through 21st century learning methods informed by research and pedagogy."


Binder says that the new Hebrew approach will be “student-centred,” emphasizing that “we are looking to create a Hebrew program that is unique to Gray Academy, and its students...Our students are unique, and our school is unique. Not all Hebrew programs have stayed up to date.”


Binder indicates that "We want to ensure we have a modern perspective on the learning of Hebrew language and additional language acquisition.”


Ronit Amihude, Director of Learning and Innovation at Gray Academy says, “The goal is for students to use Hebrew as a living language.” Amihude says that "This multi-year project will impact Gray Academy's Hebrew curriculum from JK through to Grade 12." She adds that "by utilizing experts in foreign language instruction, we will shift our approach to better balance the teaching of Hebrew reading, writing, comprehension and speaking. The program will feature clearly articulated goals, structured lessons and authentic learning materials and assessments. The next step is to build upon the expertise within our faculty so that they continue them to be empowered to design authentic units and learning experiences for today's students. This approach aligns with 21st century teaching methodologies in English language instruction."


Amihude also explains that the "new approach will raise the level of Hebrew engagement with what they are learning, thereby centering their interests and curiosities.”


Binder notes that "following extensive research in the field, including speaking with other Jewish day schools that have successfully made a shift to a 21st century approach to Hebrew, we are thrilled to have connected with Hebrew at the Center (HATC)for this project. HATC is an organization aimed to revolutionize the effectiveness of teaching and learning of Hebrew in educational settings worldwide. This aligns with our vision of a community where Hebrew is vibrant, celebrated and pivotal to a thriving Jewish identity."


Binder emphasizes that "Hebrew cements our connection to Israel and to Jews throughout the world. It is the key to understanding our history and is the living language embedded in our daily Jewish lives. This project will have lasting impact in the school and community."



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.